What Can I Say: Letters to Yo La Tengo, November 2009
As we contemplate Thanksgiving Vienna-style, we thought we’d shake things up just this once at the Letters to Yo La Tengo desk, and actually answer some actual questions. Don’t worry — we won’t make a habit of it.
Letter #1 —
Mike’s worried he’s coming off like a total dick.
I don’t know if there’s a way to say this without sounding like a total dick, but please don’t take it that way: the song “By Two’s” on your new album probably shouldn’t have an apostrophe in the title. An apostrophe is only used to form the plural of lowercase letters and acronyms written with periods. See, for example, http://www.amazon.com/Terrible-Twos-Ishmael-Reed/.
Not to worry, Mike. We have an expression here at yolatengo.com: Once a copyeditor, always a copyeditor. And as we once were, so we remain. Had we named our song after Ishmael Reed, your criticism would’ve hit the bullseye. But (not for the first time) we named “By Two’s” after a work of art, in this case by Barnett Newman, so our spelling stands.
Letter #2 —
Eric knows “it’s not the Freewheeling Yo La Tengo email address…”
…but, I’ve got so many questions…
Is James’s (new?) tattoo a Jim Woodring illustration?
Why are all of the track timings on the back of Electr-O-Pura so wrong?
And those are only the ones that didn’t mention Phish! So, Eric, the answers are:
(1) Yes it is. And while we’re not surprised that James went with such a cool design, those that spend a lot of time looking at him can’t help but feel we dodged a bullet as we contemplate the other options available to such a noted tv enthusiastas James:
(2) Call us paranoid, but we have a sense that there are those in the listening audience who are predisposed against long songs. So knowing that the actual track lengths were available with but a flick of the cd remote (or a glance at the lp’s label), we thought we’d — quoting the Brothers Italiano — have-a some fun.
Letter #3 —
Kevin is our kind of dedicated follower of fashion:
i was just wondering if you all could tell me where i could find a shirt similar to the one ira sports in the “don’t look down” videos on pitchfork.
Well, Kevin, we’re afraid you can seek them here and you can seek them there, but to no avail. We went straight to the source, only to discover that the very handsome Lambchop t-shirt that Ira’s modeling on that Williamsburg rooftop is long out of print.
Letter #4 —
Timur’s watching our back:
Apparently ‘Yo Lo Tango’ is stealing some of the proceeds off Rhapsody’s “Matador at 15″ compilation album. see attached screenshot.
Hmm… perchance Rhapsody’s paying tribute to a Mark Rothko painting we’re unfamiliar with, or mayhaps a purveyor of frozen yogurt of some sort? We’re stumped. “Steven” Malkmus is a smart guy — possibly he has an idea.Posted By: admin